North Kinsman and South Kinsman Trail via Lonesome Lake and Appalachian Trail

HARD 52 reviews
#11 of 31 trails in

North Kinsman and South Kinsman Trail via Lonesome Lake and Appalachian Trail is a 9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Lincoln, New Hampshire that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

9.0 miles
3159 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash




nature trips





wild flowers





This trail will bring you past Lonesome Lake in an old glacial cirque, past Kinsman Pond to the Kinsman Peaks which are the highest in the range. Kinsman is an open summit offering good views but North Kinsman is wooded with some views to the east. This hike is the quickest and easiest way to get to both peaks in one hike. Park in the Lafayette Campground. Take the Lonesome Lake Trail north and turn left in the Cascade Brook trail until you reach the Lonesome Lake Hut (Operated by the AMC). You may want to rest there, and you can grab a snack, juice, or tea for a few bucks. Continue up into the Fishing Jimmy trail. At the four way intersection you want to continue north (left would take you to the shelter, and right would take you to Cannon Mountain (another popular destination)). Soon you will reach North Kinsman. You have to step east a few feet into the view to take pictures of the White Mountains. Continue the trail to South Kinsman. Retrace to return to your car. Some people combine this hike with Cannon Mountain into a longer hike. You can also do it as a backpack if you stay at the Kinsman shelter.

trail running
9 days ago

trails were packed untill we were .2 miles from the kinsman campsite.
made the nKinsman north summit in knee to neck deep snow...
views on lafayette and franconia ridge + cannon are amazing on the way down from north kinsman

20 days ago

Great hike last Friday in snow storm with some friends. Micro-spikes were needed, didn't put on snowshoes, snow was light and wispy. Stay on packed trail, deep and hidden holes if you step off trail in spots, mostly on hidden bridges. Hut was open, not heated. Great Day.....

1 month ago

Great trail on a snowy and windy day!

2 months ago

SNOW! It is official the trails are covered in snow. I wasn't exactly prepared (mentally) for the snow and ice on the trail. Luckily I had layers and cheap crampons ( I will be investing in some better ones). I have never been on a snow hike but this was manageable. Actually more difficult on the way down than up especially when we hit some of the steep ice slabs. I have no idea what this trail looks like not covered in snow but I would imagine it being a fairly wet trail. I actually found the views at North Kinsman better than south. Less obstruction on North even though it isn't a 360. It was a great day barely any wind and decent views throughout. Bring layers and traction!

2 months ago

Very strenuous but the lakes and view from South Kinsman is totally worth it. I would suspect really slippery if raining.

3 months ago

Added Kinsman Pond Trail and Cascade Brooke (back to Lonesome Lake) to this hike. Challenging with slippery rocks, but beautiful hike.

3 months ago

Nice hike but you never know that you’re on North Kinsman but the lookout was nice, and South Kinsman has an open summit and a nice size cairn marking the summit. The hike in was socked in but the hike out the clouds had lifted.

4 months ago

really nice. a few steep spots, but not bad. the summits aren't marked so just follow white blaze until cairn at south kinsman.

4 months ago

Took Lonesome Lake to Fishin' Jimmy to Kinsman Ridge out and instead of Fishin' Jimmy, took Kinsman Pond. Solid hike with nice views at North and South Kinsman summits.

4 months ago

Took the AP. Trail up to North and South Kinsman, didn't care much for the view at South peak but North peak is great. Has a fantastic view of Franconia ridge. Than I accidentally took the wrong turn and went over the Cannon Balls. Little bit more elevation gain and a longer route back to my vehicle.

5 months ago

Summited both Kinsmans via Fishin' Jimmy and Kinsman Ridge Trails. On the way down, we decided to continue along Kinsman Ridge Trail, over the Cannon Balls and on to summit Cannon.

5 months ago

Ascended north peak from cannon mountain via the cannon balls and crossed the ridge in order to reach the south peak. The cannon balls required a great deal of scrambling and the ridge trail consisted of a lot of ups and downs for the majority of the miles. We took the steep and tricky fishin' jimmy trail down to lonesome lake trail and were glad for the quick descent it allowed us to make. I recommend stopping at the lonesome lake hut on the way down for water and refueling.

6 months ago

The lonesome lake trail is closed so the only way up from the campground is via the hi cannon trail. I headed up at 7 am and didn't run into much traffic and was pleasantly surprised that the climbs to both peaks weren't very busy given it was a beautiful Sunday in July. Typical white mountain hiking so expect rocks and roots.

Lonesome lake is quite popular and was busy so the hike back to the parking lot was jammed a bit. 8:45 time for the round trip to both peaks.

10 months ago

Recently went and there was about 3 feet of snow on the ground. Some form of traction is a must to get up there and back without problems. Views of North Kinsman were spectacular!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

This hike has very many interesting features all along the way. Lonesome Lake Trail on the ascent was not too difficult and made even better by the switchbacks. Over the lake there were gorgeous views of Franconia Ridge.

Fishin' Jimmy Trail, the ascent from the lake to Kinsman Pond, was very memorable, difficult and fun. Wood blocks were mounted in the sides of the rock face and chunks were carved out of boulders to provide footholds. This trail was challenging but was definitely worth the effort due to the interesting features of the trail itself.

We had good views from North Kinsman - 180 views of Franconia Ridge and Loon Mountain. South Kinsman also had good views of Moosilauke and the valley around Easton. The clouds started to roll in making it a bit chilly and damp - make sure to bring warm clothes even in summer!

Overall this was a beautiful hike with interesting trails, beautiful lake and pond and we met a lot of really friendly peakbaggers along the way.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Winter trail conditions are very good since this is such a popular hike and the views from the summit of South kinsman are spectacular.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

A great hike with awesome views, especially North Kinsman.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Was not originally planning on hiking to North & South Kinsman but needed to make my hike go a little longer than hiking up Cannon from Kinsman Ridge Trail.So in the end me and my dog went from Lafayette to Lonesome Lake trail to Kinsman Ridge to Mt Kinsman trail, which is longer than if just went up Fisherman Jimmy (or something like that) and more up and down. We did walk back down Fisherman though. The North peak, you could miss if you are chatting or in the zone but has a nice view from the platform.The South is more open. Just don't stop at the Faux summit of South. Go to where the caron (sp?) are.

On a dog note: I have a coonie and he did fine. There were one or two places he needed a little prodding but that was more him. Footings were good all the way.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Hiked up with my hiking buddy started off from Laffayette campground up the Lonesome lake trail for the 1.2 miles hung out at the Lonesome lake hut which was awesome, friendly people and the views were wonderful.. had a snack and filled up on water then we headed up the Fishen jimmy trail for 2 miles to kinsman pond and this trail was black diamond all the way, wouldnt have been so bad if are packs were lighter! We stayed the night at kinsman pond camp area.. Steve the caretaker there was very nice and helpful! The next morning we headed up to north Kinsman and the views were amazing.. while hanging out on the summit over looking kinsman pond we met some very nice people with great stories! We then hiked back to our camp packed up and headed out via kinsman pond trail which was much easier but 2.5 miles out to the cascade brook trail which took us back to lonesome lake we refueled then did the last 1.2 miles back to our car in the dark. it was an awesome weekend I would stay there again and return to hike cannon!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

just hiked north and south kinsmens this weekend! (9/21/13). gorgeous views, moderate wind at top. first day of fall great day to go! but now, two days later my calfs and quads are still hurting. mostly from coming back down..

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